batgirl won’t be flying on HBO Max screens, but a select group of insiders are seeing the film during secret screenings on the Warner Bros. lot. The Hollywood reporter. They are said to be for people who worked on the film, both cast and crew, as well as representatives and executives.
One source described them as “funeral screenings,” held before the film was sent to an undisclosed afterlife, with footage locked away in a vault, physical or digital.
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On August 2, batgirl became the most talked about movie in the world when news broke that the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, chose to scrap the $90 million DC movie to cut taxes. (The newly merged company’s CEO is seeking $3 billion in cost savings.)
batgirl it was in full post-production when Warner canceled the project, but it was still far from complete, with temporary visual effects and soundtrack. The film had previously held a single test screening, the only time audiences saw a cut.
A question spinning around batgirl is if he can become the next Justice League by Zack Snyder, an abandoned film that later sees the light of day. But batgirl is different for several reasons, the sources note. Justice League it wasn’t a tax break for the studio. It was released in theaters and there was no legal reason why an alternate version wouldn’t exist in the future. If the studio released batgirlwould conflict with rules that allow Warner Bros. Discovery claim a tax break.
Additionally, filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah say they don’t have personal access to any footage, though sources say it’s possible that some actors attached to the project may have filmed on personal units. In contrast, when Snyder left Justice League in the spring of 2017, he walked out of the Warner studio with a laptop containing a raw four-hour cut of the film, which he would later complete after a years-long campaign of fans demanding to see his version of the film.
Generally, a studio will not receive the full tax break immediately on a losing project, but will receive a certain percentage immediately and the remainder over a period of years. That’s because it’s unclear how much a project can gain (or lose) over its lifetime by hitting cable and other platforms.
Several sources suggested that Warner might make the drastic decision to destroy their batgirl footage as a way of demonstrating to the IRS that there will never be any revenue from the project and, therefore, should be entitled to full write-off immediately. Other sources dispute this notion, noting that there are other projects that still have locked footage that will never see the light of day, like the first HBO movie. War of Thrones spinoff pilot, Blood Moon, an hour of television that not even author George RR Martin has seen. There is also the possibility that Warners may, in the future, decide batgirl it is worth releasing and returning to the government its fiscal responsibility.
Leslie Grace starred as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the film, which was supposed to be one of several modest-budget DC projects made directly for HBO Max as part of former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s effort to boost the streaming service. Zaslav, who took over the reins of the combined company in April, has reversed that strategy and is pushing Warner back into the movie business.
While batgirl garnered more attention for being killed off, it wasn’t the only film that fell victim to Zaslav’s tax-cutting strategy.
Scooby! Festive Hauntanother nearly completed movie that was canceled the same day batgirlquietly had its own funeral display on the Warner lot last week.
Ashley Cullins contributed to this story.
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